that list starting at 6:30 is a riot
Short summary of Part 1:
"God provides a moral code"
"What about the slavery, human sacrifice and genocide God orders?"
"This is the first I've heard of that"
"Well, it's all in the Bible. Isn't that evil?"
"No, because if God did it, it must be for a good purpose by definition."
I'd give 5 stars to Part 2, which is even better. The guy starts refusing to give direct answers. This provokes Matt into a great rant.
Seriously, these atheists make me more interested in rereading the Bible than any of my religious school teachers did.
Part 2 can basically be summarized as:
"Would you lock your children up in the basement and torture them for not loving you?"
"That's not my decision to make."
"But what if it was your decision to make? Would you do it?"
"It doesn't matter what I think."
"It does matter, because you wouldn't and your god would. You're terrified to admit that you're better than your god."
Wow, he gets after some dingleberry on his public access call in show, big deal. It would be more entertaining if he argued with Pat Roberts or some other televangelist dipshit.
These guys are funny, but harping on the Bible's implicit endorsement of slavery is a straw man argument against religion. Any critical reader will recognize that the OT's seemingly bizarre rules and codes made sense within the historical contexts within which they were written. Moreover, Paul and the Gospel writers emphasize that, after Jesus, salvation is based on faith and not adherence to the law found in the OT. Its for that reason that Christians don't worry themselves with following the hundreds of strictures in the Hebrew Bible. In short, these guys look smart but they're not above making bullshit arguments.
Well, it's not that simple. For one, Christians and the Bible claim that God is unchanging and eternal, yet there's very explicit commandments and regulations set down in the Bible on things like genocide, slavery and rape. Historical context doesn't stand there, because this is supposedly the same being then as it is now. Why would a just God support and condone those things in any context? As for the other point, Christians still reference back to those old laws at times, like with the ten commandments or Leviticus, yet they leave out the weird stuff or what they think doesn't apply. If it's all null and void, why say any part of it is legit? (On a side note, I think the provision about adherence to the law only applies to sacrifice and letting Gentiles in, but it's been a while since I've checked those verses.)
So I don't think they're bullshit arguments, mainly because they're about taking Christians to task for their lack of logic. Beyond that, the arguments don't really stand up in the text very well either.
They are discussing whether God is a moral entity. Whether those actions fit in a 'historical context' or not, they are unambiguously evil. And it supports his main argument that NT God is still amoral for eternally torturing those who lack faith. And the caller was perfectly willing to follow the 'Hebrew scriptures' and considered them binding, the problem was that he wasn't familiar with them beyond the 10 Commandments. And if you think that the NT doesn't have similar (if less extreme) examples of God killing innocents or handing out disproportionate punishments, then you are just wrong.
The caller said that God is always good, and Matt respond with an example of God being bad. Even if the caller was willing to conceded that the OT was a complete fabrication (which he obviously wouldn't), it's still not a straw-man.
Forgot to add: the 'explicit' approval of slavery isn't just in the OT. See Timothy 6:1 for an example.
You both make good points. We can definitely apply our own, classical liberal, post-enlightenment morality to condemn the Bible, as it is filled with hundreds of disturbing stories that don't match up to our values. I just think we need to recognize that such a project is anachronistic and potentially reductive.
First, this line of reasoning applies mostly to Bible literalists, who won't listen anyway.
Second, the enlightenment didn't bring any sharp breaks in morality... it just took slightly less religious and more rigorous pains to codify them.
Third, this is certainly not the first time the God of the Old Testament has been called out as a dickhole. See Manicheans and Cathars. There are probably others, but that's what I know about.
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